Over the weekend, I saw a great deal of conversation about what evangelical Christians are supposed to do regarding president trump and the menagerie of issues surrounding his existence.
Used to be, “evangelical” meant someone who was likely to start a conversation with you on an airplane in an attempt to win you over into the Kingdom of Christ. It was someone who would go see every re-re-re-re-release of Left Behind, because they had read at least one book in the series and knew someone who slogged all the way through to the end.
Evangelicals used to be people who loved TobyMac, could recite the entire opening to Fresh Prince from memory, could excuse swearing in their favorite war film, knew, with a blush what Rhett Butler frankly didn’t give, could extoll the evils of Eminem, and knew five christian hip hop artists who had appropriated his style.
They were cheesy, corny, ugly sweater wearing, barbecue wielding, politically androgynous, and unartistic.
But now, it is a political distinction.
Now evangelicals are people who vote red regardless of the opportunity cost and low key use terms like “libtard,” or “democrap,” or even “Obummer.” They will decry anything a democrat politician says, regardless of content, because they have gone all in with a political persuasion and then hide behind pro-life stances.
I wish I could be all incredulous about the current political climate, like I didn’t recognize my own culture in this swirling mess of an America. People get power, they aim to keep power and they hurt whoever they need to to achieve that goal. People disagree and take it personally and the winner of the ensuing contest is the person with the lowest moral scruples and the deepest bench of insulting terms.
Our executive government is presided over by a man who will call names with the best of the playground bullies and then point to his accomplishments and political persecution as a reason for not objecting to him.
Recently, a christian publication called for the removal of President Trump on the grounds that he is morally incapable of leading this country.
Turns out, Douglas Adams was onto something. In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Adams imagined a political future where we elected the dumbest human being in the world so that everyone would watch his or her antics, thus allowing the hands that actually ran the country room to work without the encumbrance of visibility.
In our reality, we haven’t elected the dumbest among us, but we have voted for people who believe they are actually capable of administrating the governance of over 300 million people. It takes a certain degree of hubris and narcissism to run for president.
So why are we shocked when they turn out to be narcissists?
All throughout 2015 and 2016, I stayed shook concerning the way that the country obsessed over Donald Trump and his twitter account. I was incredulous that real champions of conservative thought were relegated below the fold for the circus act that was the Trump candidacy. I stayed shocked when the secret audio of where the Donald wanted to grab people, and his seeming ambivalence to any sort of moral drawback.
I’m disgusted that Stormy Daniels got so much spotlight time.
I hate the super catchy nicknames he has for all of his rivals.
And here we are. With a morally bereft commander in chief, a news media who are even more so, an opposition party hell-bent on bringing him down at all costs, a legislature with so many skeletons in the closet, they had to build more closets, and a populace getting gaslit on the daily.
And I can’t tell you what evangelicals should want. Based on the above shift in definition, I am most certainly not an evangelical.
I am a christian.
I believe in and am saved by Jesus.
And I want justice, because that is what my God wants and what He provides.
I want to see a man accused of crimes stand trial.
If he is guilty, let him be sentenced.
If he is innocent, let him be exonerated.
And let the light of justice shine with a wide spread spotlight and not a laser light focus.
Let those in our government who use their position for personal betterment, for cowardice, dishonesty, waste, and betrayal be shown for who they really are.
Let the light of justice shine brightly in Washington, D.C.
And in Tulsa, OK.
And in Dallas, TX.
In Honolulu, HI.
In Fayetteville, NC.
in my home
and in yours.
Because the light of justice is not one for shame, but one for change. It allows us to become the best us that we can become.
So yes, the president is morally bereft.
But let us not become morally bereft in supporting him blindly when he stands accused. Let us listen to the trial and see him accused, convicted, or exonerated. Let us not become his judge, jury, and executioner without the process of justice.
And most importantly, let us continue in the work being done in us so that we would not win something for “our side” and then become abandoned by “our side” because we lack the qualifications we have set up against our own misdeeds.
Our president stands accused.
Let him be tried.
And let the results speak.